Brothers and sisters, the Christmas decorations are no more. They have been removed. Our Church and our Gathering Center are set for the new season in which we find ourselves-the season of Ordinary Time. It is good for us at this moment to pause and reflect upon the Advent/Christmas season which has just moved into our very recent memory so that we might give it a proper sendoff before we dive into the days which are now upon us. In my own estimation at least-and I admit that I am a bit partial in this regard-we, as a parish have lived the Advent/Christmas season very well. For me, the time that we have shared together especially since Thanksgiving has been truly remarkable. I have seen and experienced so much goodness and good cheer, energy and enthusiasm from you throughout the entire season. These days have been a joy for me and I sense a wonderful spirit from all of you. It is so good to be here! We have truly lived the Christmas season well, but I also think the season was good for us. I think, that at least in part, because we have engaged the season so well, we are now ready to engage the season of Ordinary Time, or as I like to refer to it, the “season of real life.” In this season, we have struggles with which to deal, we have joys and sorrows to share. We have lives to live. And that’s what it’s all about. The same is true of us as Saint Aloysius Parish. We have struggles with which we have to deal-our parish finances, and our parish debt, just to name a couple, but we also have a wonderful faith life to live. For 2017, I see many exciting adventures ahead, with our school relocation project perhaps at the top of the list. I also would like to think that we as a parish community will take more ownership of our personal call to discipleship and that we will do so in an intentional way. I see us becoming more and more a parish of prayer, service, Eucharistic adoration, and community. I see us continuing to engaging our young people into the life of the parish and speaking openly to them about religious vocations and on and on. So, my brothers and sisters, let’s put the Christmas season to rest with a smile and let’s move on to live the “season of real life,” otherwise known as the season of Ordinary Time, extraordinarily well.